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Old 31-08-2013, 16:38   #16
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

If you're looking 30' range, what about a Catalina 30?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:57   #17
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

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Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
Not sure I follow you here - how many people does it take to steer a boat? And combining a windvane WITH an autopilot makes both of them work against each other. Honestly can't see a logical reason to do that, and the manufacturers of MONITOR windvanes strongly oppose it on their website.

I use the autopilot to keep the boat in the wind, just the press of a button. Works well enough and certainly doesn't warrant the investment of many thousands to get a windvane. I really want a windvane for future long trips, but so far I have had zero use for one as my trips have been short.

To summarise - I don't see a windvane as essential kit for a singlehanded sailor who doesn't make overnight trips.


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You use the windvane when the sails are up. For me that's 90% of my time away from the slip and even greater percentage cruising. The autopilot gets used for motoring and the few times that a precise compass heading is needed which is maybe 8% of the time. The last 2% is me actually at the helm which I avoid as much as possible.

An auto pilot capable of sailing the boat in a wide variety of conditions is something like a 4 boat unit investment for the autopilot alone. If you are going to use it for more than a few hours on a daysail, you need something to replace the electrons the hungry bastard eats. If you are working the autopilot hard, like sailing with good wind, it will take a lot of electrons. That means running the engine just to charge the batteries, solar panels or a windmill to keep up with the turkey. Then we have the fun of relying on something that is filled with little bits that will go tits up if you just whisper salt air in their vicinity.

Got my vane used for $1,800. It had sailed its previous boat from Florida to San Francisco and a lot of places in between. It was only for sale because a divorce was forcing the owner to part out his boat. It's sailed me around SF Bay and to Hawaii and hasn't asked for one electron, just steered the boat 24/7 day after day. As soon as I put the sails up and often times before, the vane steers the boat. There is no rule that says a vane can only be used when making 10 mile legs. Use to use mine to short tack out the Alameda Estuary. Just click the wind vane around to the opposite tack heading. It would tack the boat while I handled the headsail. The vane faithfully steers the boat from ghosting conditions to 40 knots and never complains.

The wheel pilot has been a nice addition for motoring and sometimes sailing in light conditions. It's been a faithful work horse especially when I had to motor for 200 mile at one stretch. It can't handle the boat's helm once boat speed gets much above 3 knots. Boat has a strong weather helm that overpowers the wheel pilot's dinky motor. Would have to invest in a below deck auto pilot which would cost more than what I've got in the vane and wheel pilot combined.

Find a windvane way more useful than an autopilot, cheaper to buy and run, and able to handle the boat in a much wider range of conditions.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:17   #18
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

I stand by my points but I'm happy it is the right solution for you.


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Old 06-09-2013, 19:52   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post

Not sure I follow you here - how many people does it take to steer a boat? And combining a windvane WITH an autopilot makes both of them work against each other. Honestly can't see a logical reason to do that, and the manufacturers of MONITOR windvanes strongly oppose it on their website.

I use the autopilot to keep the boat in the wind, just the press of a button. Works well enough and certainly doesn't warrant the investment of many thousands to get a windvane. I really want a windvane for future long trips, but so far I have had zero use for one as my trips have been short.

To summarise - I don't see a windvane as essential kit for a singlehanded sailor who doesn't make overnight trips.

Onno
Sorry, I didn't mean both at the same time. You can use them at different times in different situations. Certainly, an autopilot will drain the battery fast without the engine. A vane to keep you going when you make yourself lunch, or get rid of it in the head, is invaluable.
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Old 06-09-2013, 19:57   #20
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It would tack the boat while I handled the headsail. .
And this
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:23   #21
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

One of these.

These seem to be designed for the busy type-A rich guy who likes to sail often but can't or won't keep friends who can crew.

Note especially the self-tacking jib.

[Ok so I see you've already considered those, but the wife doesn't like. Have you thought about divorce?

(just kidding of course) ]
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Old 07-09-2013, 17:04   #22
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

I love these best boat questions. So for who-for where -for what use-for what price-for what personality type- for what maintenance requirements. The answers are as unique as the individuals asking and answering the questions. I can understand asking for opinions of a particular or a class of boat based on first hand experience but not the broad what do you think is best boat for me. Its a little like asking a doctor to treat a patient un-examined with little or no meaningful information.
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Old 07-09-2013, 17:23   #23
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

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I am looking for a boat in this size range that is really easy to sail by myself with other people on board (and of course solo.)

I know that sounds like it doesn't make sense, but my significant other isn't much into sailing, when she is with me, she doesn't do much, and if I have non sailing friends out, they can't do much either. And since I like to sail, I often daysail myself.

I am looking for the best layout that allows me to sail the boat with others who always seem to be exactly where you don't want them when you need to be there;-)

Ideally I can control everything from the helm, steer, main, genoa, and also be able to put boat on auto pilot and move foward.

I have had a beneteau 373, great cabin, terrible sailing. Also, having mainsheet on cabin top makes it hard to get to. I have also had hunter 33, having mainsheet by me and small jib on hunters is better than beneteua, but turns out travaller lines of arch hang down right in the way of the jib winch, engine start control is right where someone always sits etc.

Was thinking about going down to 30' range until someone said go bigger to 40', dual wheels, and bow thruster, etc.

I know there is no perfect boat, but am interested in the collective advice here.
If having a handy, good performing sailboat is the main criterion, how about a J-35? Friends of ours cruised one throughout the South Pacific, and could actually enjoy it all. IIRC, the interior would not lend itself to long term cruising with your whole family, and if that is your goal, a 40 footer with two aft cabins would do, or possibly a catamaran, if you're into those?

Good luck refining your search. One thing to look at is how feasible it is to move forward mounted primary winches aft so you can reach them from the helm...and you'll definitely want them self-tailing. (One hand for steering, one for sheeting in.)
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Old 07-09-2013, 18:37   #24
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

Classic plastic Tartan 30. Short keel, good-sized skeg for rudder. S&S design that sails well and is easy to manage.
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Old 07-09-2013, 18:52   #25
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

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I love these best boat questions. So for who-for where -for what use-for what price-for what personality type- for what maintenance requirements. The answers are as unique as the individuals asking and answering the questions. I can understand asking for opinions of a particular or a class of boat based on first hand experience but not the broad what do you think is best boat for me. Its a little like asking a doctor to treat a patient un-examined with little or no meaningful information.
+1,000 Like asking your mother "What's the best girl for me to marry?"
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Old 07-09-2013, 18:53   #26
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

I love the newest daysailer from S&S. And Morris' dayboats do not look bad either.

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Old 07-09-2013, 20:11   #27
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

Yes like a freedom 40 a real piece of dock furniture that can single hand sail. The only downers are the $ 900,000 price tag and all that bright work maintenance. There is one for sale on each coast. One pulled into our Yacht club outstation dock a few weeks ago and it took the owners two hours to wash it down and dry it out. I just learned the boat is for sale. Hell if I had a boat that needed two hours of clean up after use it sure would be fore-sale.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:46   #28
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Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
I love these best boat questions. So for who-for where -for what use-for what price-for what personality type- for what maintenance requirements. The answers are as unique as the individuals asking and answering the questions. I can understand asking for opinions of a particular or a class of boat based on first hand experience but not the broad what do you think is best boat for me. Its a little like asking a doctor to treat a patient un-examined with little or no meaningful information.
Well, I think to a certain extent that is true, but then again.... not

For any set of boat buying criteria, there is going to be a spectrum. I think people post these questions (as I did) to mine the collective wisdom. We are trying to find out what boats are clearly at the ends in order to narrow the search.

For these criteria, we might suggest to leave out racing boats that are difficult to handle.

Once this spectrum has been narrowed by getting rid of the ends, THEN it's the situation of "who should I marry", and at this point I think one is comparing the condition of boats in your price range rather than brands and models.

Remember, you buy the owner, not the boat.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:47   #29
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Oh, and, of course, every spectrum is based on different criteria. There is no "best" boat, only what is best for ME!
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Old 10-09-2013, 23:27   #30
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Re: Best 30 -40' daysailer/cruising for singlehanding

For day sailing, why would you get windvane steering?

Get an autopilot with a windvane function; mine uses the wind at the masthead to maintain course to the wind, or it can just operate as a normal autopilot steering to course, or steering a whole route etc. Much cheaper than a true windvane too. Disadvantage is that it has a current load, so you need a solar panel/wind genny or something similar to keep your power up if you're on a long trip, but for day sailing, or with a reasonable power setup... not sure why windvanes are still used by so many people.
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